Over 200,000 children are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms from injuries sustained on playgrounds. Each year approximately 15 children die as a result of head injuries. Most of the time, the accident could have been prevented.
Playground safety is particularly relevant to churches. The majority of churches maintain a playground for children that are used before, between, and after church services. These children engage in unsupervised and unstructured play. Many times the church is not maintaining or inspecting the playground equipment on a regular basis.
When building a playground, it is best to place your equipment in a gated and locked area. To provide a safe playground, contact your City or County for zoning regulations in your neighborhood. If there are plans to change your existing playground or build a new playground, you want to be sure you are in compliance with the City or County codes.
To maintain a safe playground, we recommend the following:
- Mandatory supervision when children are present
- Knowledge of equipment usage and appropriate age levels
- Administration of first aid or contact emergency medical providers, if warranted
- Develop a regular protocol for inspecting the playground and equipment for hazards that can be caused by corrosion, deterioration, wear and tear, etc.
• Repairs made promptly once a problem is discovered
- Inspect the grounds regularly for broken glass, anthills, ice, trash, and other debris that could cause an injury or an accident
- Appropriate signs posted to restrict play without supervision.
Recreational play is an important role in the life of churches and schools. Interacting and having fun contribute to nurturing and sustaining the community. Let’s keep our children safe by providing them with well-maintained and supervised playgrounds
For additional information, please refer to www.playgroundsafety.org